Saturday, June 30, 2012

From pneumonia to nothing?

Liam has had a cough for about 3 weeks now.  At first it seemed more like a throat clearing habit, but in the past few days it had gotten worse, to the point that he was coughing during his sleep.  Since he and Hilary are leaving for B.C. tomorrow, we decided to head to the walk-in clinic this morning.

The Doctor was great - friendly, listened well, attentive to Liam.  After listening to his lungs for a seemingly long time, he declared a concern at some "tightness" he was hearing in the bottom lobes, and felt it was pneumonia.

Parenting fail.

My poor kid has pneumonia and I didn't even think he was all that sick?  Just a bit of annoying cough?  Did I ever feel great.

The doctor ordered a chest x-ray, as it's the only reliable way to diagnose pneumonia.  So with a prescription for antibiotics, a puffer and an x-ray in hand, we headed off to the children's hospital.

Of course it's Saturday.

The x-ray department is closed to doctor referrals on Saturdays.  They are only available for ER patients.

Since I already felt like the worst parent ever, I couldn't very well let him fly off to another province with un-diagnosed pneumonia.  So we headed to the ER.

Luckily it was mid morning, and a beautiful Saturday, so it wasn't very busy and we got seen quickly.

2 medical students and the head ER doctor gave him the once, twice, three times over.  None of them could hear a thing in Liam's lungs.  No wheeze, no crackles, no tightness.  His oxygen saturation was 100%. They all concurred that it was NOT pneumonia and that he didn't need an x-ray.

Parenting win.

They gave 2 opinions for the cause of the cough.

1) 3 weeks ago his throat got a little bit irritated and he coughed to clear it.  The coughing irritated his throat.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  So the cough is the cause of the cough.

2) it's an asthma like episode.

The fix for #1 is to stop coughing.  Helpful advice, isn't it?  Use lozenges, tea with honey, lots to drink.  The fix for #2 is a ventolin inhaler.  Since there isn't a test to tell which one we were dealing with, we are going with both fixes.

They gave him a dose of the ventolin before we left to see if it helped.  Once I was able to wrestle Liam still and the nurse was able to administer it, it did indeed help.  So it looks like we will be giving him puffers till this clears up.  The problem?  He HATED it and fought it tooth and nail.  The next dose is in about an hour... should be interesting.
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